Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta-Jones do their best at being
the millennium-edged twosome in the style of Cary Grant and
Grace Kelly, sadly without Alfred at the helm. What FX and
modern technology offer us do not make up for a good tense
tightrope of nerve-grinding suspense. Throw as many
celebration light bulbs in as you will and it still doesn't make
you experience the danger (especially when such
incomprehensible antics include climbing unnoticed past an
armada of armed destroyers in the niche of a sky-bridge
constructed completely of glass walls. Or are these
sharpshooters blind?) The big question remains: who is
photo: David Appleby
© Twentieth Century Fox International BV
Robert MacDougal (Sean Connery) is a notorious (thanks,
Hitch) art thief. A stolen Rembrandt appears to lead
Virginia Baker (Catherine Zeta-Jones) to his doorstep (or should I say
moat?). Gin, as those who know her refer to her, is an
insurance investigator for a firm that is trying to avoid paying
out $24 million for the theft. Posing as an "undercover" thief,
she passes herself off on Mac as a desirous accomplice to
capture a priceless mask in Kuala Lumpur. Sort of like
"Topkapi" goes underground.
Ving Rhames, as Mac's accomplice Tribadeaux, is good at
playing good and bad. Maury Chaykin, as black marketeer
Conrad Greene, shows how coarse and tasteless the
underworld can be on a hot day in paradise. Will Patton, as
the disgruntled insurance head, pops up unexpectedly now and
again to remind us that these main characters are not
necessarily to be trusted and that lead roles are not always
given to people with good morals or proper ethics.
Jon Amiel, director of "The Man Who Knew Too Little", brings
us this interlude as a cross-section between an almost
romantic international romp with a special Kodak moment
Sean Connery also produced this running chase which was
originally pitched to him in seven lines. He viewed it as "a good
yarn with wit, and an intriguing romantic element that puts a
real sting in the tale. It's like a Peking Opera - each
character has a different agenda from the one they initially
appear to have."
Well, Sean, what can we shay?
He also found Catherine Zeta-Jones to be more than perfect for
the female lead. "Catherine is game for anything you throw at
her. She's a total professional who is willing to go all out for
Well, Sean, what can we shay?
Zeta-Jones goes with grace from one mask (Zorro's) to another
(a golden bejeweled treasure) without getting hung up or strung
up as she makes the moves of a determined ballet acrobat
between laser twists and turns in a crazy cat's cradle museum.
She views the electric results of working with Connery as
similar to those found between Hepburn & Tracy or Bogart &
Bacall (no mention from her lips of Grant & Kelly).
Amiel's direction and the scenario of Ron Boss and William
Broyles are (for the most part) worked out with sharp precision
and realized with the perfection of master thieves in order to
create a movie that, one must admit, follows the relentless path
toward a conclusion. It makes for an exciting tale with a
number of thrilling sequences; file away under "action" with all
the others; best watched without waiting around on the platform
for the last two minutes (and I don't mean the credits).
What can we shay?
© 1994-2006 The Green Hartnett